Taylor Swift Groping Trial: DJ Says He May Have Touched Singer’s ‘Ribs’

Taylor Swift groping trial
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An eight-person jury in Denver began hearing testimony on Tuesday in the trial of Taylor Swift vs. Colorado DJ David Mueller.

Mueller is accused of grabbing Swift on the buttocks without her permission during a visit backstage at the Pepsi Center in Denver, in June 2013. Mueller is seeking compensation, maintaining that Swift’s reporting the incident led to Mueller being fired from his job at local radio station KYGO.

A photo of the incident, in which Mueller’s hand is positioned out of sight but behind Swift, was shown during opening statements and multiple times throughout Tuesday’s testimony from Mueller. He repeatedly denied inappropriately touching Swift, and described how he remembered the moment.

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Mueller stated that he didn’t want to go to the Sunday night concert, because he had to work the morning show shift early the next day. After standing in line for more than an hour, Mueller and his then-girlfriend and colleague, Shannon Melcher, entered the photo booth room where Swift was available to meet and pose for photos.

Mueller testified that he and Melcher were in the room with Swift and five other people: Swift, a photographer, a personal assistant, a tour manager, and a bodyguard.

Mueller said that something happened that caused him to conclude that Swift was acting “cold and standoffish” toward him, terms he also used previously in a deposition.

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“When she didn’t invite me over to pose with the photograph, I considered that cold and standoffish toward me,” Mueller said during Tuesday’s testimony. “She wasn’t that way toward Shannon. I think everyone deserves professional respect. She didn’t welcome me to the photograph.”

Mueller also said he felt “invisible,” as if Swift had forgotten him, in the 30 to 40 seconds that he and Melcher were present in the photo booth room.

“At almost the same time that [Swift] said ‘Let’s take a photo’ or ‘How about a photo,’ she put her right arm around Shannon [Melcher] and pulled her close, and the two of them turned toward the photographer, who was to Taylor’s left and my left,” he said. “I turned and saw the photographer for the first time.”

He said the photographer was using an iPhone or an iPad to take photos, and that he “immediately started moving” to get into the photo frame.

“I turned toward the photographer and I had my right arm extended with my hand closed and my palm facing down,” he said.

Swift’s attorney, J. Douglas Baldridge, said during opening statements that Mueller has changed his story about the incident, and referenced one statement that Mueller had made previously, that he could not have “done it” because his hand behind Swift was in a fist.

Mueller also referenced a fist during questioning from his own attorney, Gabriel McFarland, who asked if it was a change in Mueller’s position to say that he denied the accusation because his hand was in a fist.

“My hand was closed,” Mueller said. “I don’t know what he was referring to, I couldn’t have done ‘it’ if I didn’t know what ‘it’ was was. … I don’t think it was a change of position.”

After the photo was taken, Mueller testified that Swift shook his hand and that he and Melcher exited the photo booth room and moved along to other areas at the venue. Shortly after, Mueller was approached by a man he believed was a security officer, who showed him the photo and accused him of grabbing Swift.

During Tuesday’s trial proceedings, Baldridge placed into evidence a document containing notes that Mueller took during a phone call with his talent agent, Heather Cohen, executive vice president of The Weiss Agency. The call occurred on May 29, 2013, four days before the incident backstage between Mueller and Swift. The notes stated that KYGO program director at Lincoln Financial Media, John Dimick, was prepared to terminate both Mueller and his morning show co-host, Ryan “Ryno” Kliesch, due to insubordination.

During his testimony, Mueller described his relationship with his direct supervisor, KYGO program director Eddie Haskell, as “difficult.” When asked if Mueller previously alleged that it was Haskell who had inappropriately touched Swift’s buttocks, he responded, “No.”

“In my mind, it wasn’t as if Eddie was confessing or admitting to doing that,” Mueller said. “I just thought he was telling one of his goofy stories.”

When McFarland questioned his client, he asked about where and how exactly the contact between Mueller and Swift occurred.

“My hand came into contact with part of her body,” Mueller said. “I felt what appeared to be or seemed to be a rib cage or a rib, ribs.”

Mueller also said that his hand and Swift’s hand touched, and his arm and Swift’s arm touched as they posed together for the photo.

He responded, “No, I did not,” when asked if he touched Swift inappropriately at any time.

“It’s not called inappropriate touching,” Baldridge said. “It’s assault.”

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  1. NIna says:

    Seriously the man’s hand was miles from her “ribs”… His shit eating grin pretty much says it all.

  2. Mike says:

    If you look closely at the photo Taylor Swift has her hand out of sight behind Mueller’s back side her arm going down toward his buttocks. She may have assaulted Mueller. She dresses scantily and sex and drama are her forte

  3. Jenny Lewis says:

    I feel like Taylor swift is taking that a bit too far, I don’t think that he intentionally “grabbed it” he might have bumped it on accident and she blew it out of proportion… she seems to have a lot of drama with a lot of people so I wouldn’t be surprised. He lost his job because a poorly timed photo, I feel bad for him. His life was ruined because she couldn’t handle something that happens to girls around the world on a daily basis.

    • A Salty Scientist says:

      Do you think that perhaps one of the reasons this happens to girls around the world on a daily basis is because there are no consequences for bad behavior?

    • Roseanne says:

      First you are saying that it was an accident and then you are saying she should just accept it because it happens to women on a daily basis. Which is it? Grabbing someone without their consent is ASSAULT and it should never be accepted by anyone, male or female.

  4. James says:

    “Mueller is accused of grabbing Swift on the buttocks …”

    C’mon people…who doesn’t dream of doing that ?

    Ms. Swift probably had ‘clothes’ on that left nothing to the imagination
    and made her buttocks look like the most delicious thing since strawberry ice cream.

    Taylor shouldn’t be so angry & take it as a compliment ;-)

  5. Rebecca H. says:

    I became a full-blown Swiftie when Taylor released Red. I still adore her music, and my nieces are obsessed with everything that she does. If the allegations are true, the DJ deserves to be publicly humiliated. Still, something about the “I’m going to court for my female fans” narrative, coupled with the fact that her new album is due very soon, rubs me the wrong way. Most of her fans likely don’t have the resources to sue, and issuing a public statement would have been just as inspiring. Why didn’t she attend the Women’s March? Why didn’t she issue an actual statement in support of Kesha? She didn’t use her voice once to condemn Trump. What was she afraid of? Offending Bill O’Riley? Losing her Russian bot following and annoying the fathers of some of her fans in middle America?

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